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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »

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Bookley has commented on (2) products.

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It by Gary Taubes
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It

Bookley, February 10, 2011

An extraordinary book, based on his earlier (and even more extraordinary) "Good Calories Bad Calories." It is not a diet book. He is not a diet guru. He is a science writer (trained at Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia) who mostly writes about science badly done. Nowhere, apparently, is it done much worse than in nutrition and diet research. And when it is done well, but refuses to endorse the current orthodoxy (saturated fats are bad, low calorie diets work, etc) it is ignored. [See Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolution." This is not the first time that good science has had to fight for a hearing against bad.]

If you are interested in why people are overweight and fail, usually, to take and keep fat off, here are ideas you need to think about, and a strategy to try--one that has been used with success for 150 years. The research is careful, current, and exhaustive. Is this the last word on the subject? Do we now have the final answer? I think he would be the first to say "no." But it is the best that I have read so far. Enough so that I have tried it out and found that, lo, it works. Glory be, it works! Just as he said.

If you despair of ever loosing the weight, or have a friend who does, buy this book. I have recommended it to everyone I know, and now I recommend it to you.

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Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It by Gary Taubes
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It

Bookley, February 10, 2011

This is not a diet book, tho it concludes with the Duke University food program. It is a popularization of Taubes' masterpiece, "Good Calories Bad Calories." It is a book about nutrition and the science (mostly bad science) of nutrition in this country during the last 40 or 50 years, the evidence of which--the morbidly obese-- you see around you everywhere.

Taubes is a student of science who writes professionally about science. He is not a diet guru and he isn't selling you his diet. He is explaining what the science does and does not tell us about food, obesity, and related diseases, how very bad public policy is, how it came to be so bad, and what we need to find out. I have now read the book twice, have recommended it to just about everyone I know, would make it required reading for every doctor in the country if I could. Primarily he asks you to look critically at the evidence, which continues to mount up as comparative studies of different diets (for example, that done by Gardner at Standford Medical School) show that the low carb approach is not only better for weight loss, but better for blood work markers for coronary disease.

To understand why we persist in policies that continue to fail us based on shoddy science which ignores the results it does not like, see Kuhn's classic, "The Structure of Scientific Revolution." We are in a failed paradigm.

Everyone seems to have a food axe to grind in this country. Read Taubes with an open mind--which is all he asks--and if you want more of the detail of the argument, go on to the much more demanding but quite extraordinary "Good Calories Bad Calories."

Having read the book, I decided to put it to the test. I followed his advice. On that basis, I say: if you despair of ever loosing weight, read this book.
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